Never Ending Internet Mix Tape

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Vol 11 / Trk 08 / The Boy With the Arab Strap / Belle and Sebastian

I’m afraid this may be too obvious a response, but then again, maybe that’s its saving grace. I spent a few hours perusing my collection, before realizing I couldn’t shake The Boy With The Arab Strap from my subconscious. It’s really not unlike Who Loves The Sun?—catchy upbeat tempo, with a sweet, yet full-bodied trajectory.

What I really like about this track, and most other Belle & Sebastian tracks for that matter, is its persistent duality. From the outset, it sounds optimistic, albeit a little cautious. When you dig a layer deeper, you quickly uncover references to prison, chaos, racism, and a city that doesn’t quite fit you. There’s some debate as to whether this track is a societal commentary on the city of London (sorry, Mr. Smigielski), a scathing reference to Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat, or a readjustment to society after recovering from distant isolation.

Because there is no clear answer, I leave it to your interpretation.

t. woodford


Filed under: Mixtape, NEIMT, Vol 11,

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